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145 Comments

Reply sbyrktct
3:12 PM on February 22, 2018 

Teresa -

Go to: https://www.ncarb.org/pass-are/are4/prepare/site-planning-design

Click on the blue "SPD practice program" link within the written text to download the .exe file for the practice program.


Sorry it took me so long to respond, I've been out of the country and just got back.

Good luck!

>sby


teresa says...
How do I download the software directly so I can run the alternates for SPD?

Reply teresa
7:13 PM on February 8, 2018 
How do I download the software directly so I can run the alternates for SPD?
Reply sbyrktct
9:21 AM on June 12, 2017 

billy says...

Would like to know if the following items would result in a fail for the SD vignette:

1. if the program states your building needs to be within a certain distance of something, does that mean the entire building or just part of it?

2. can a walkway cross a driveway and still be acceptable as "continuous"?

3. what if one or two existing deciduous trees are sitting on the south edge of a large plaza that requires noonday summer sun? most of it would receive sun............is that acceptable?

Thanks - your website is awesome!


billy - 

Answers re: SPD vignette...

1) Any part of the building needs to be within that distance.  Draw a circle with the distance as the radius and get a portion of your building in that circle.

2) I don't think that walkway would be considered continuous... I would avoid that scenario... only do that as a last resort.

3) Just remember that those trees cast a 45 degree shadow... keep as much of your plaza out of the shadow as possible... plazas do not have to be regular shapes.


You are very welcome... glad I can be of some help.

>sby

Reply billy
6:43 PM on June 9, 2017 

Would like to know if the following items would result in a fail for the SD vignette:

1. if the program states your building needs to be within a certain distance of something, does that mean the entire building or just part of it?

2. can a walkway cross a driveway and still be acceptable as "continuous"?

3. what if one or two existing deciduous trees are sitting on the south edge of a large plaza that requires noonday summer sun? most of it would receive sun............is that acceptable?

Thanks - your website is awesome!

Reply Chuck
8:51 AM on May 13, 2017 

Just want to say thanks for your website.  You have really good sources that helped me with passing CDS.  I'm ole school in that I had passed 6 of 9 parts of the 3.1.  I passed CDSS and Materials methods the first time I took the exam quite a few years ago.  So, thanks for your site.//Chuck

Reply sbyrktct
2:53 PM on January 6, 2017 

Steve - 

Sorry for the delay...

A roof island occurs on the second floor where the second floor (room or corridor) doesn't cover the first floor, but is also enclosed on four sides by second floor walls.  Additionally, you want to avoid deep roof areas where the second floor walls are over 20' or so from the edge of the first floor footprint.  Most vignettes will come pretty close to lining up the two floors, you just want to avoid areas where water would not be able to run off a roof above first floor space.


Does that make sense?


HTH,

>sby 

steve says...

I'm confused about the definition of roof island and its relationship to first and second floors

Reply steve
1:57 PM on January 5, 2017 

I'm confused about the definition of roof island and its relationship to first and second floors

Reply steve
12:31 AM on January 3, 2017 

Does a roof island occur when a first floor space is open atrium-like throught the second floor floor to the underside of the second floor roof?

Reply Garrett Goodridge
9:46 PM on December 13, 2016 

Nevermind, it's all set!

Garrett Goodridge says...

Hi SBY,

I saw your conversation with Cynthia from last December. I am running into the same problem. I was successful in loading the alternate background (the .dwg files from your page) into the SPD software, but the buildings did not change to match the alternate programs - they remained the same names/buildings/sizes as in the NCARB base file. Is there a way to change the buildings to match the alternate programs?

Thanks!

Reply Garrett Goodridge
8:28 PM on December 1, 2016 

Hi SBY,

I saw your conversation with Cynthia from last December. I am running into the same problem. I was successful in loading the alternate background (the .dwg files from your page) into the SPD software, but the buildings did not change to match the alternate programs - they remained the same names/buildings/sizes as in the NCARB base file. Is there a way to change the buildings to match the alternate programs?

Thanks!

Reply sbyrktct
3:17 PM on September 21, 2016 

Maria - 

Sorry for the delay in answering your question... I was out of the country.


If you go to the home page of this website, and scroll down, you'll find a section called "Exam Order".  

This outlnes my suggestions on how to take these exams.

If you have additional specific questions, just let me know.


Good luck,

>sby

maria sammar says...

Hi Sby,

My question is about order of exams, relation between one and the other, potentially overlapping of information. Do you have a rough estimate of how much time shoul I gove for exam (as you mentioned in the SD tips). Do you have a strategy for the order in which they should be taken? I am curious about an ascending strategy, both time and information wise. I am currently on SD, and curious what is the most apropiate next step. Thank you in adnvance

Reply maria sammar
12:54 PM on September 7, 2016 

Hi Sby,

My question is about order of exams, relation between one and the other, potentially overlapping of information. Do you have a rough estimate of how much time shoul I gove for exam (as you mentioned in the SD tips). Do you have a strategy for the order in which they should be taken? I am curious about an ascending strategy, both time and information wise. I am currently on SD, and curious what is the most apropiate next step. Thank you in adnvance

Reply sbyrktct
1:47 PM on September 6, 2016 

Edward - 

Here are the acronyms you listed... as you peruse and participate in the arecoach.com site, you'll get used to these... also, read the NCARB exam guide first.

RBO = Reception and Business Office

CFA =  Clear Floor Area

LCR = Library and Conference Room

CR = Copy Room

IMO = yes, In My Opinion... I give some suggestions based on holes in the NCARB process

Good Luck!

>sby


edward kowalski says...

prepping to take my first exam, SD before Nov 1st to stay in 4.0 AREs.

You've used many acronyms that I need help with please;

RBO, CFA, LCR, CR, IMO....(In my opinion? lol, not an architectural term)

Reply edward kowalski
1:35 PM on September 6, 2016 

prepping to take my first exam, SD before Nov 1st to stay in 4.0 AREs.

You've used many acronyms that I need help with please;

RBO, CFA, LCR, CR, IMO....(In my opinion? lol, not an architectural term)

Reply sbyrktct
8:17 AM on August 15, 2016 

Emily - 

The coniferous trees are good for blocking the prevailing wind, but bad for allowing views.

You'll only need to use deciduous trees depending on your layout to allow for required views while still providing protection from the winds.

Another good thing about deciduous trees is that you can place them on the plaza if need be.

Note that NCARB's passing solution does not add deciduous trees.

Hope that helps,

>sby


Emily says...

Another question I have is.. The NCARB Site Design youtube video states that a critical step is placing all objects. If I only place coniferious trees, would I fail because that is only (1) type of tree and I need both. I tend to place my trees last and when I time myself Im cutting it close. I dont want to fail because I didnt have time to place both types of trees.. I know its kind of a far out question, just trying to cover my bases in case I get into a pinch.

 

 

Reply Emily
1:32 PM on August 14, 2016 

Another question I have is.. The NCARB Site Design youtube video states that a critical step is placing all objects. If I only place coniferious trees, would I fail because that is only (1) type of tree and I need both. I tend to place my trees last and when I time myself Im cutting it close. I dont want to fail because I didnt have time to place both types of trees.. I know its kind of a far out question, just trying to cover my bases in case I get into a pinch.



sbyrktct says...

Emily -

The "overhang" is NCARB's "entry pad" to each building.  It's white in the NCARB practice vignette and blue in user-created alternates.  They should be white in the alts, but it's a coding snafu.  Treat them as if they were white. 

According to NCARB's SPD exam guide's passing solution, there is a note: "Acceptable coordination of Pedestrian Plaza and entry pad to the Office Tower."  You'll want the plaza, service drives and walkways to be directly adjacent to those entry pads in order to connect those spaces.

>sby

 

 

Reply sbyrktct
10:18 AM on August 10, 2016 

Emily -

The "overhang" is NCARB's "entry pad" to each building.  It's white in the NCARB practice vignette and blue in user-created alternates.  They should be white in the alts, but it's a coding snafu.  Treat them as if they were white. 

According to NCARB's SPD exam guide's passing solution, there is a note: "Acceptable coordination of Pedestrian Plaza and entry pad to the Office Tower."  You'll want the plaza, service drives and walkways to be directly adjacent to those entry pads in order to connect those spaces.

>sby


Emily says...

So just for clarity, (for SPD) it states 5' clearance between building and walkway/ drive/ etc.. sometimes the "overhang" of the building is blue and sometimes it is white with just the outline box around it, should I assume 5' away no matter what just to be safe? On Ncarb's practice example, the service drive is touching the outlined blue box, but comments from ARECoach are conflicting for when the box is actually colored in blue as if it is part of the actual building. I'd hate to fail on something silly like this..

Reply Emily
9:20 PM on August 9, 2016 

So just for clarity, (for SPD) it states 5' clearance between building and walkway/ drive/ etc.. sometimes the "overhang" of the building is blue and sometimes it is white with just the outline box around it, should I assume 5' away no matter what just to be safe? On Ncarb's practice example, the service drive is touching the outlined blue box, but comments from ARECoach are conflicting for when the box is actually colored in blue as if it is part of the actual building. I'd hate to fail on something silly like this..

Reply sbyrktct
8:55 AM on August 8, 2016 

Emily - 

Unfortunately, not with the cloud.  The cloud program does not allow you access to the software files, which you need in order to swap the alternates in and out.  However, if you can set up a virtual machine on your computer to run 32-bit Windows, you can download the NCARB program files and swap in the alternates.

>sby


Emily says...

I unfortunately have the cloud based program for NCARB vignettes.. Are there any other ways I could test out the alternate programs?

Reply Emily
5:59 PM on August 7, 2016 

I unfortunately have the cloud based program for NCARB vignettes.. Are there any other ways I could test out the alternate programs?

Reply Marla
2:04 PM on August 6, 2016 

Thanks Sby!

Reply sbyrktct
10:33 PM on August 5, 2016 

Marla - 

I don't know the 3.1 vignette... but if it's anything like the 4.0 vignette where the tall space is separated from the other floor areas with a bearing wall, you'll evaluate the deepest duct/truss pair separately in those two areas.

Hope that helps,

>sby

Marla says...

Hi, I’m taking CDS soon and I have a doubt on the vignette. I used the 3.1 practice vignette. I have a question regarding the space for ducts @ Meeting Room…the deeper duct at 2nd floor overall is 24”, so I assumed that same depth for the ducts @ second floor and the meeting room, but the passing solution shows the depth for ducts @ meeting room much smaller…

So, for the double height space…do I need to focus on the ducts for that area and not the overall plan?

 

Reply Marla
9:23 PM on August 5, 2016 

Hi, I’m taking CDS soon and I have a doubt on the vignette. I used the 3.1 practice vignette. I have a question regarding the space for ducts @ Meeting Room…the deeper duct at 2nd floor overall is 24”, so I assumed that same depth for the ducts @ second floor and the meeting room, but the passing solution shows the depth for ducts @ meeting room much smaller…

So, for the double height space…do I need to focus on the ducts for that area and not the overall plan?

 

Reply sbyrktct
3:52 PM on July 11, 2016 

Draw them 10x20 like you've been doing.


sani says...

somebody on ARE google plus commented on my BL vignette and I am not really sure if I should pay attention to it. Here is her comment:

"if you exit your stair on the opposite end that you enter make sure it is 12 ft wide so you can fit 2x4ft wide stairs + an exit corridor"

I draw the stair 10x20 all the time!

thanks in advance!

Reply sbyrktct
3:52 PM on July 11, 2016 

Eric - 

Check for posted solutions on arecoach.com.

>sby


Eric LaPointe says...

I am wondering if there are posted solutions for your alternate vignettes for both site design and grading. 

I am sure there are somewhere but I just can't seem to locate them.

Thanks in advance,

Eric LaPointe

Reply Eric LaPointe
3:31 PM on July 11, 2016 

I am wondering if there are posted solutions for your alternate vignettes for both site design and grading. 

I am sure there are somewhere but I just can't seem to locate them.

Thanks in advance,

Eric LaPointe

Reply Doug
10:01 PM on June 21, 2016 

Hello again, quick question - BDCS stair vignette exit capacity.

 

The NCARB 4.0 requires an area of refuge on the second floor. This width (48" req. + 8" of handrails = 56") governs since it's larger than what actual occupant load calcs give and the code minimum of 44". If the AOR was required on the intermediate level only, would the stair flight  from  the intermediate level to the 2nd level, be allowed to be 48" w/ handrails encroaching - the actual occupant load without an AOR?

 

Thx for your time! D.

Reply sani
2:42 PM on May 27, 2016 

somebody on ARE google plus commented on my BL vignette and I am not really sure if I should pay attention to it. Here is her comment:

"if you exit your stair on the opposite end that you enter make sure it is 12 ft wide so you can fit 2x4ft wide stairs + an exit corridor"

I draw the stair 10x20 all the time!

thanks in advance!

Reply sbyrktct
9:28 AM on May 25, 2016 

Sani - 

No.

 

The 'A' dimension being over or under 20' determines whether it is a dead end or not.

>sby

Reply sani
3:59 PM on May 24, 2016 

Is this a dead-end corridor?! I am not sure if I should be worried about a & b!

http://tinypic.com/r/n56lmq/9

thanks in advance!

sbyrktct says...

1 - Any where between 1:1 (square) and 2:1 (rectangle) is fine.

2 - Corridor width is not necessarily limited.  The only limitations are the dead end length and the 25% limit.  No reason to make your main corridor width wider than 7' though.

 

 

Reply sbyrktct
4:13 PM on May 23, 2016 

1 - Any where between 1:1 (square) and 2:1 (rectangle) is fine.

2 - Corridor width is not necessarily limited.  The only limitations are the dead end length and the 25% limit.  No reason to make your main corridor width wider than 7' though.


sani says...

1- For BL vignette, can we draw the rooms with ratio between 1:1 to 2:1 or should it be exact, either 1:1 or 2:1?! (I had rooms 1.5:1 and nobody commented on it. )

2- if i have a dead-end corridor, i am aware of the 20'-0" max length but should i be careful with the width of the corridor not being more that certain feet?!

thank you so much for you time

Reply sani
1:49 PM on May 23, 2016 

1- For BL vignette, can we draw the rooms with ratio between 1:1 to 2:1 or should it be exact, either 1:1 or 2:1?! (I had rooms 1.5:1 and nobody commented on it. )

2- if i have a dead-end corridor, i am aware of the 20'-0" max length but should i be careful with the width of the corridor not being more that certain feet?!

thank you so much for you time

Reply sbyrktct
10:04 AM on May 12, 2016 

"... from A secretarial desk."  One desk needs a clear view of the entry door.

>sby


Kiedys.Zdam. says...

Hello Sbyrktct, 

I haven't found this in your notes, hence this question:

For IL in SD exam, the requirement is :"The configuration and furniture layout of this space must allow a clear view of the suite's main entrance door from a secretarial desk." Does that apply to one or 2 desks given that 2 desks are required? Ncarb passing solution applies this to one desk, and requirement doesn't have it plural either. Just a thought.

Reply sbyrktct
10:03 AM on May 12, 2016 

Sani - 

Click on the SD tab at the top of this page... scoll down until you see blue buttons for that alternate vignette files.

Good luck,

>sby


sani says...

I am really sorry to bother you but i am new to SD and I am not sure where to start to get the Alt files. Could you please guide me...

thank you so much in advance,